Almost a year after its formation, Living Like Ghosts has already released its first EP and has a second in the works. idobi recently sat down with the band members to discuss their history, upcoming projects and what makes them tick.
Jeremy Johnson, 24 – Vocals/Guitar
Christopher Jenkins, 21 – Drums
Corey Boland, 20 – Guitar
Steven Kennedy, 20 – Bass/Vocals
How long ago did you form and how did it happen? What are your musical backgrounds?
Living Like Ghosts was officially formed in May 2009 with a few different members. Most of the original members went to Taylor Truman High School, and we all shared the same group of friends. The current lineup came together with the addition of Corey last fall. Steve worked at Coldstone Creamery and Corey was a regular there. When we lost our two guitarists, Corey jumped in and learned everything nice and fast.
I think something that sets us apart is our diverse musical backgrounds. Steve was originally going to go to school for music. He’s been playing trumpet since he was 11, bass since he was 19. He likes experimental music, metal, indie… just about anything actually. Corey has played trombone since he was 10. Chris has been playing drums since he was 14. He also plays the sax, piano, guitar, accordion, marimba, bassoon, flute, pan flute and viola. Jeremy grew up singing R&B. He always wanted to play guitar, but got his first guitar when he was 15. He’s had a love for music ever since.
What was it like transitioning into a four-piece group? How has the change affected your band?
At first we were really skeptical about making the change. Three guitars is cool concept, you can get a particular fullness and have the ability to layer parts that you just can’t do with two. But after a few practices and a quick rearrangement being a four-piece seemed the way to go. It clears up our sound a bit and allows parts to shine. So the music didn’t take much of a hit there. We do miss Justin and Allen as people. Chris and Jeremy have been playing with them for awhile and we all were good friends. We completely understand their decisions to leave the band, but from time to time we miss those dudes.
What was the recording process of your EP like?
For our latest EP we had a pretty interesting recording process. We recorded drums first at a studio that looked like something straight out of a movie. After a bit of goofing around we went back to Chris Abalos’ studio to do the remainder of the recording. We ended up changing a few parts in the studio and we were productive for the most part. Our producer Chris is the man and we had a really good time recording with him.
Who would you consider your greatest musical inspirations? What would be your dream tour to play on?
As individuals our inspirations may vary quite a bit, but I think we can all agree on a few bands. Thrice, Alexisonfire, Search the City and a million other bands, both local and national, have inspired our music. Other than musicians, we all take a lot of influences from literature, art and most of all personal experience. We try to take inspiration from other musicians, but we never try to copy or mimic. Our dream tour would be with The Beatles, Blink-182 and Dream Theater. Tell me that tour wouldn’t sell out.
Who writes the lyrics, and how does that person get ideas?
Jeremy is the sole lyricist. Most if not all of his lyrics come from his past experiences. Our lyrics are basically about life in general and not shoving anything down your throat. We’re not politicians or philosophers. We’re just people who play music and our lyrics reflect that.
What is your relationship like with your fans? How do you stay connected with them?
I know every band says this, but we truly feel that we have some of the best fans in the world. We stay close with our fans, not only by using tools like Facebook, Mypsace and Twitter but also by coming out to support them. We’re always down to hang out or talk or anything. One of the greatest things the Internet has done for us is helped to open up communication. We can now talk to all of our fans whether they are from Michigan or Germany. I think a lot of people get intimidated by musicians and then avoid talking to them. We love talking to fans (and critics) no matter what.
Describe your live show. What would you consider your best show yet, and what made that one so special?
We’ve had a lot of great shows in the short time we’ve been around. The biggest show we’ve played so far was with The Audition at the Magic Stick, but that’s not our favorite. We like shows where we know everyone, shows with our friends. We just played a show at The Modern Exchange with our friends in Heroes on Parade, Your Best Friend and Shorelines. The turnout might not have been anything spectacular, but it was the most fun any of us have ever had at a show. To us it’s really about having fun at shows, not just showing up, playing and leaving.
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Our greatest accomplishment so far would have to be releasing our first EP. We’re very proud of the music and how far we’ve come in such a short time. We’re just getting started though.
What are your future plans for the band? What are your ultimate goals?
Right now we’re focusing on playing shows outside of our region. We have two tours coming up this summer and are working on ways to continue touring. Ultimately, we would like for as many people as possible to have access to our album and to be able to see us live. If we could make enough money to just support ourselves on tour, that’s all we would need. We don’t want to be superstars, we just want to meet people and play our music.
Anything else you would like to add?
Our second EP, “Treading Water,” will be available for download some time in April. Keep checking up with us on MySpace at myspace.com/livinglikeghosts or on Facebook for more updates. Thanks for supporting our dream. We love you all!